a portrait for the #botanicalbodyhair tag

“you deserve to be
completely found
in your surroundings
not lost within them”
— Rupi Kaur

A few years ago now, when I was an insta-novice I took part in A Beautiful Mess's selfie challenge. A whole month of selfies! It felt awkward at first but on reflection it was a great way to challenge myself to be more creative (although I may have gone a little OTT with adding all the razzmatazz on the pictures; thanks to Over and Afterlight apps! Ha! (Although I hear the latter is making a come back!!) See below!! Some good and some bad! Some giggle inducing no doubt! Hehe. 

Fast forward to 2017 and rethinking about self portraits; I got talking with a few instafriends about creating a new hashtag and encouraging instagrammers to be part of their own narrative. Instagram has such a nurturing community that I wanted to embraceI But in a different way. We wanted to take a little smidgen of the love we give out to one another, for ourselves. We figured that we give so much, that we forget ourselves. Especially in the community I found myself in, of creative mothers, who so often take pictures but aren't in them. Just a simple act of taking a picture of you, can work as a brief moment of self care and acknowledgement.  

So! The tag was created collaboration with the absolutely amazing, creative and wonderful Susan (@susanoestdahl), Krissy (@oftheeveryday), Tanya (@javaholicandtheboy) to encourage instagrammers to get into the frame. To reflect on the concept of ourselves and how we fit in our own little squares. Those three women, my dear friends in my phone, have absolutely astounding examples of self portraits, so do be sure to check them out!!

Contrary to popular belief, selifes aren't all duck faces or fish pouts (though power to those people who want to do that because ain't nothing wrong with it!) For me selfies are really interesting because whether we do it consciously or not, we are taking pictures of how we want to be seen and accepted. We try and show our best selves mostly.

But I think however you share a picture you've styled, directed and taken of yourself, you are sharing a little bit of you (aside from the literal that is) and that is kind of beautiful in itself, isn't it?

I've recognised that I often share images with a focus on light or light play alongside shadows. I wonder if this is because I recognise the light and dark in me? Or whether I want to hide a little of myself in the shadows. I guess whatever it is, we do share an element of ourselves; underlying sorrow or joy? Capturing those rare moments of bliss or perhaps the opposite of what we are really feeling. For me, self portraits are a way to hold onto those moments that flicker and fade away; the moments you want to remember and embrace but often forget. As a mama, it is also a way to acknowledge me, the me under the layers and swirls of motherhood and the everyday. 

Inspiration comes to me in many forms; it might just be an itch to create when the girls are asleep and I have a moment to reflect or I will be inspired by the soft pinkish hues of morning sun (in spring and summer) and strong afternoon light that beams downstaris in our dining room. Sometimes I will read a few words by people like Rupi Kaur  and want to capture a feeling that it stirred.

If you're afraid of sharing your whole face. just share a hand, a foot, a wisp of hair or silhouette if you prefer. I have been scouting for inspiration by using the save feature on Instagram but also over on Pinterest  if you would like to have a nose. My beautiful instafriends Barb and Kika have written blog posts about self portraits which you can read here and here. Both posts are FULL to the brim with ideas and examples of their extraordinary creativity. 

So I do hope you can join in with the tag! Below is a live stream of the tag currently, so full of inspiring and wonderful self portraits!!!